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Department of the Navy Honors NSWC Dahlgren Division Human Resources Specialist for Technical Excellence

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications | May 5, 2020

DAHLGREN, Va. – Bridget White loves winning and helping others win.

The human resources specialist in the Planning, Policy, and Analysis Branch of the Human Resources Department at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) coupled her winning attitude with technical rigor to improve the NSWCDD External Awards Program. As a result, she garnered top honors in the Department of the Navy (DoN) Human Resources (HR) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Community Awards for Excellence in the Technical Excellence: Planning, Policy, Analysis and Program Management category.

The awards program comprises nine categories.

“This was the second year for the Navy’s revised awards program, with a total of 76 nominations from all of the different categories,” NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Casey Plew announced in an email April 23. “The program was established to recognize DoN employees for their contributions and accomplishments that result in exceptional impact and improvement to services, processes, or practices for the DoN HR and EEO community.”

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Civilian Human Resources notified NSWCDD of the award.

This came to the delight of White’s supervisor and nominator, Audrey Lohr, Planning, Policy, and Analysis Branch head; NSWCDD Corporate Operations Department.

What was White’s reaction when Lohr contacted her with the news?

“Shock!” White exclaimed.

Even though this was followed by “gratifying and humbling” feelings, the NSWCDD employee of four years and eight months holds awards such as this one to a high esteem.

“I truly value personal and organizational approval and recognition,” she said. “In my experience, knowing that someone I respect sees what I do as valuable makes all the difference on the days when things aren’t going well or I lack motivation to push past my comfort zone into the realm of excellence.”

Though she may have days she pushes through, her desire to win drove the NSWCDD External Awards Program to a new level.

“She is truly representative of the professionalism and dedication required of the HR of today, and has the passion, forethought, and collaborative approach required of the HR support of the future,” Lohr stated in the award justification form.

The NSWCDD External Awards Program involves outside organizations that sponsor the awards soliciting calls for nominations, which are then submitted to evaluating bodies external to NSWCDD.

“Ms. Bridget White is a source of leadership, positivity, and inspiration in the NSWCDD Human Resources office, and she consistently applies technical rigor to her programs and processes,” stated Lohr.

As the external awards technical editor and NSWCDD External Award Coordinator Team lead, White built ‘wins’ into the program including early coordination with nominators to ensure the nominations meet the right criteria and highlight nominees’ accomplishments.

White’s improvements to the awards process include incorporating additional functional reviews where needed, automating a manual metrics collection process, and increasing collaboration with internal and external offices.

“She proactively took this task on, evaluating the process from the perspective of the nominator, working with the right resources, and modifying our tool and associated auto-emails to clearly communicate expectations,” stated Lohr. “As a result of this process revamp, she now collaborates directly with the nominator from the start, ensuring the nomination meets the right criteria and highlights the nominee’s accomplishments.”

It’s a win-win.

“Her early involvement in the nomination process is likely a direct contributor of win increases and better enables department leadership to review a more final version of the nomination as it routes for approval,” stated Lohr.

For White, making process improvements such as these are essential.

“As our center grows and changes, the need for continual re-evaluation of processes is increasingly necessary,” said White. “As a workforce changes and grows, so must the processes for recognizing their achievements above and beyond daily duties.”

Individually and collectively, it all comes down to winning.

“When individuals strive for and achieve personal excellence, the greatest value of that personal achievement can be found in the corporate acknowledgement and team pride in being a part of a ‘winning’ organization,” said White. “The more we ‘win,’ the more collective pride we feel in the work we do and the team we are members of.”